What Types of Crime Do Juveniles Commit?

By Julia Story
Teenagers with access to guns are more likely to be involved in violent situations.
Teenagers with access to guns are more likely to be involved in violent situations.

Laws are created to protect people. Laws are sometimes broken because people feel repressed, or do not agree with the law. Sometimes laws are broken because people feel they have no options, or have had a negative childhood upbringing. Teenagers and young people growing up poor, abused or neglected may turn to crime to support themselves or to let out their anger. When juveniles commit crime, it is especially upsetting, so these crimes are taken very seriously.

Alcohol and Drugs

Young adults and teenagers' crimes often involve drugs and alcohol. The drinking age in the United States is 21, but teenagers can get alcohol through friends; drunk driving is an issue with young adults. Drugs are available to most teenagers through friends as well. Peer pressure can lead kids to trying addictive substances. Juveniles who witness parents and other role models drinking or doing drugs are more likely to try them; alcohol and drugs can cause violent and illegal behavior.

Sexual Offenses

Juveniles who grow up in low-income families sometimes turn to prostitution as a way to make money. Kids and teenagers who experience abuse or neglect may run away, and prostitution is one way to get paid. Prostitution, especially among under-aged people, is illegal, but young people are often manipulated into doing it. Teenagers and young adults may also commit sexual assault or rape, especially when under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Status Offenses

Juveniles most commonly commit minor crimes, and often are not ticketed for them. Some cities have curfews for those under 18 in order to create a safe environment. Teenagers often ignore these rules, and can be ticketed for it. Until you are 16, in the United States, you are required by law to attend school (unless being home schooled). Truancy is the act of skipping school, and many middle school and high school students do this throughout their educations.

Violent Crimes

Some juveniles commit violent crimes, and some scientists believe this is often caused by childhood abuse or neglect. Regardless of the reason, many teenagers in cities join gangs. These gangs of angry young people often carry weapons, including firearms. In some situations, teenagers commit murder; even in suburban areas, some teens bring guns to school. Young adults sometimes get into physical fights, and this is often considered assault. Burglary and robbery aren't uncommon in young adults.